Human growth hormone is a substance that is second only to steroids when it comes to ‘illicit gains’ in the gym. Whereas steroids work by binding to the androgen receptors to increase testosterone production, growth hormone is a hormone in itself that increases tissue building and repair in the human body. This is what triggers growth in children but also what encourages the repair of bones, skin and muscle.
Now, building muscle is all about breaking down your muscle and then building it back up. That means that you need to train hard in the gym but you also need to focus on what comes after. This is where growth hormone steps in and helps you to rebuild.
The problem is that growth hormone slows down as we get older. This is why some athletes will inject themselves with it – but this is illegal in most states and causes a lot of serious unwanted side effects.
So the better solution is to try and boost your HGH levels naturally. The good news is that there are plenty of foods out there that will do just that. Let’s take a look at some of the best ones…
Cherries can help you increase muscle mass? As it turns out… yes!
This is because cherries contain a substance called melatonin. Melatonin is the sleep hormone and when you have more melatonin in your system, you will sleep better. Sleeping better meanwhile means that you produce more growth hormone, seeing as the vast majority of HGH is secreted while we’re dozing.
So add some cherries to your dessert. It’s important that you choose dessert and not breakfast because otherwise all they’ll do is make you sleepy at work!
Eggs are high in saturated fat which is excellent for increased muscle mass. They’re also high in choline, which gets converted to acetylcholine for enhanced brain function. They contain 100% of our essential amino acids too, meaning more muscle synthesis.
But as though that wasn’t enough to make the humble egg a bodybuilder’s dream food, they’re also fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D is not really a vitamin, so much as it is a ‘master switch’ for your hormones. It also helps to regulate sleep cycle. So get some vitamin D in you by eating eggs and you’ll see increased HGH.
Everyone loves coconut oil right now. Coconut oil is the ‘It Girl’ of the alternative diet movement but as it happens… everyone is right!
Coconut oil is packed with so much goodness that you have to begrudgingly admit that the hipsters are right. And as for HGH, well it’s the only thing on this list so far that will directly influence HGH positively. It turns out that coconut oil can boost HGH for up to four hours if you consume 1g for every 1kg of bodyweight. That does mean you’re going to have to eat a fair amount though…
Add it to your pre-workout!
Fava beans are good as coconut oil though, as they are high in l-dopa. L-dopa is a substance that can increase HGH levels by stimulating extra production in the pituitary gland. It’s a small improvement but might be worthwhile if you take it before bed.
And while we’re at it, there are various other amino acids that will do similar good. These include l-arginine (which is also great for all kinds of other things) and l-orthinine.
Salmon is another bodybuilding superfood that will give you all the amino acids, essential oils and other benefits you want. Now you can add more vitamin D to that list. Salmon sashimi will give you 271% of your RDA for every 100g serving you consume.
Pineapple is packed with serotonin. Serotonin as it happens is the precursor to melatonin, meaning that your brain will convert it into melatonin. When you have more melatonin in your system, you will increase your HGH and therefore see sounder sleep and more HGH production!
Not enough for you? Then consider that pineapple also contains bromelain – an enzyme that aids digestion and thereby helps you to get more benefit from everything you eat. So if you wash any of these other items down with a side of pineapple juice, you’ll enhance their effectiveness severalfold.
Note that none of these ingredients is going to turn you into the Hulk but if you look out for them in the shopping aisle, then they might just give you a little extra edge.